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Parallels can be drawn between Turner, Clarett



Published: Mon, June 21, 2010 @ 12:10 a.m.

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Jamel Turner

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Former Ohio State football running back Maurice Clarett

Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

The sad and twisting story of Jamel Turner in some ways parallels the plight of another Youngstown athlete whose post-high school career was shortened by events off the field.

Turner, 18, was shot twice at a home on Manchester Avenue on the city’s West Side Saturday morning.

In that incident, 17-year-old Tracy Banks was found dead inside the house with multiple gunshot wounds.

Maurice Clarett helped the Buckeyes to the 2002 BCS championship and scored the winning touchdown against Miami (Fla.) in overtime in the Fiesta Bowl.

Clarett was a football standout at Austintown Fitch as a freshman, before transferring to Warren Harding, where he played for three seasons and was named Mr. Football following his senior year.

Clarett had an uneventful freshman season at Ohio State, but in the days leading up to the Fiesta Bowl he accused school officials of not allowing him to return to Youngstown to attend the funeral of a friend who had been mortally wounded in a shooting.

That dispute triggered a series of controversial events surrounding Clarett.

In an interview for ESPN the Magazine, Clarett accused Ohio State coach Jim Tressel and others at the school with providing him with money and jobs, and a teaching assistant told a the New York Times that Clarett had received preferential treatment from a professor.

An investigation by the NCAA was ultimately dropped for lack of evidence, but the school later suspended Clarett for the 2003 season after he was charged with filing a false police report.

He later sued the NFL in 2003 to enter the league’s draft early, which was denied, but was later drafted in the third round of the 2005 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos.

Clarett was released without ever playing a game for the Broncos.

On Jan. 1, 2006, Columbus police announced they were searching for Clarett in relation to two incidents of armed robbery.

Clarett turned himself into police the following evening, and on Feb. 10, 2006, was indicted on two counts of aggravated robbery with gun specifications and five other counts.

While awaiting trial in August of that year, Clarett was arrested in Columbus after he made an illegal U-turn and police found loaded guns in his vehicle. It was later reported Clarett was arrested near the home of a witness against him in the robbery case.

Clarett plead guilty to all charges in a plea agreement and was sentenced to 71/2 years in a Toledo-area prison.

In April of this year, Clarett was granted early release and is currently at a halfway house in Columbus.

Ironically, that release was ordered less than two weeks before Turner was injured in a shooting on Interstate 680. Turner was shot twice by unknown assailants.


Comments

1HeiressLMP64(7 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

I'm sorry I don't see any comparable information in this story other than they were high school football standouts from Youngstown. Yes, they have OSU in common but the comparison stops there. Clarett was an arrogant and annoying brat. Turner is a product of his environment. OSU should require all new recruits to spend the summer on campus, therefore avoiding such incidents. Coach Tressel is aware of the environment in Youngstown and should have stepped in after the first shooting incident with this young man (Turner). I am praying that Jamel Turner will recover from these injuries and learn from his mistakes.

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2fcb(324 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Isn't it enough that OSU and coach Jim Tressel are offering a quality education and possable NFL career to these young men. Now you want them to watch them befor the get to OSU! There are over 150 football players coming to OSU every year to try out for the team. Why should a few that choose not to obey the rules and laws be given special treatment. These guys know right from wrong,it's that they think the rules don't apply to them. I'am sorry for what has happened to theses two young men,but the responsability falls on the parents when they are growing up. Tressel is a football coach,and that's it!! Put the blame where it belongs.Why are people so eager to put the blame on some one else instead of the young man.He's the one who decided to go down that path.Now they must deal with it.

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3HAM711(16 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

ALWAYS SOMEONE ELSES FAULT. JUST WHEN DO THESE HOODLUMS TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THERE ACTIONS, JEROME BETTIS GREW UP IN DETROIT!!!!!!!! WAKE UP AND GET YOU HEAD OUT OF THE SAND.

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4HeiressLMP64(7 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

@HAM711 - Jerome Bettis grew up in a different time than these kids. He grew up when fights were just fights. Detroit was rough back in the day but I bet it's much worse now! So spare me that comparison.
@fcb - Unfortunately, no it's not enough. Not when you recruit from an environment like Youngstown. Tressel should be responsible for his players, new recruits and returning players. He was aware of this young man's background and an intervention should be in place, after the first incident. As for the parents, yes they should be held accountable but even good parents cannot always keep their children out of trouble. Believe me I know. I'm a PK ( preacher's kid) and my parents were hardworking, responsible parents. As hard as my father loved, disciplined and preached, he couldn't keep us all out of trouble. 4 out of 5 of us made it out of Youngstown without a police record. So parents can only do so much. So you can stop belly-aching about the parents as well. Sometimes it takes more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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5PGEMF(3 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

So Heiress, let me get this straight:

You want Tressel to break NCAA rules by requiring a player is down there during the summer?

You want him to do so for a player that by most accounts, hadn't yet qualified academically, and may have never stepped foot on campus?

Was it Tressel's fault for the shooting in the spring too?

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6Centervillebuckeye(1 comment)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Hey Heiress -- It is interesting that you put responsibility on Tressel. First of all I am not sure what Tressel could do within the boundaries of the NCAA. If Turner is a student then he has a place to live in Columbus. Otherwise it would be a violation just to have a home (free of course) to live in Columbus. Turner is a young man with a track record of trouble. Without playing the blame game other high school students that don't get into trouble are they just lucky or do they do the right thing? My guess is that Turner being a magnet to trouble is not a coincidence. With that said lets hope he straightens out his young life before it is too late. I am sure these words have been told to him before. What do you think?

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7valleyred(1098 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

I played with Jamel and it sorta angers me they are comparing him to Clarett. Jamel is a good kid, he just has been known to hang with the wrong crowd. If you knew him, you would know Jamel is a real nice kid that had a promising future.

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8OSUBuck16(12 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

HeiressLMP64 and others,

Freshman football players actually reported to OSU this weekend to start summer classes today. So, your point is actually moot.

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9walter_sobchak(1927 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

valleyred,
Apromising future as what? A target practice dummy? Sorry, you get one chance. Let's see, this good kid who just hangs with the wrong crowd, gets booted from his HS BB team, gets himself academically ineligible for intercollegiate athletics, gets booted from the MILITARY school and its team, gets shot twice in a drive-by affair, and now gets shot at 3:23 am while in the company of a woman. Yes sir, a real good kid!
My questions to this good kid would be:
1. How many times have you been arrested?
2. Do you do or sell illegal drugs?
3. Are you the member of a "gang"?
4. How many children have you fathered and with how many different females?
5. If you can't accurately answer #4, could you even venture a guess?
6. Have you ever shot anyone?

The difference between this kid and Clarett is that jamel may not survive this world prior to his first incarceration as an adult.

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10HeiressLMP64(7 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

When a recruit signs an intent to attend a college, he is just as much the responsibility of the Coach and AD as he is his parents at that point. With that being said, I don't know what Coach Tressel can or cannot legally do for his players. In my opinion, if you recruit a troubled player from a troubled environment, you are willing to take on that responsibilty. PERIOD! If he's not academically eligible to play, doesn't it mean that the coach is willing to take on the responsibility of getting him eligible? I'm just asking?

I do not know Jamel but I do know kids with similar backgrounds. Valleyred says he's a good kid, I'm inclined to believe that. There are many good kids in bad environments. If removed from that environment, may not find trouble at all. Jamel was never removed from that environment but hopefully will live to remove himself from the environment. During the first shooting incident, I thought maybe he was with the wrong person at the wrong time. After this shooting incident, I'm positive he was with the wrong person at the wrong time. People, judge not lest ye be judged!

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11PGEMF(3 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Legally, he can not force him to be there. He can "encourage" him to take summer classes, and it is in his best interest to do so.

But the bottom line is, even prior to this incident, Turner was likely never going to step foot in Columbus. Tressel can not make him academically eligible and give him his high school diploma or adjust his test scores.

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12PGEMF(3 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Correction, didn't mean to imply he didn't have his diploma or test scores, meant that JT couldn't do that for any hs player, committed or not.

However, many sources have said Turner was not qualified to begin with, hence the time at Fork Union.

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13shutyourface(246 comments)posted 4 years, 4 months ago

Put it this way Turner lived with his HS basketball coach and got thrown off the team. He need's someone to step into his life and show him a path. Tress has a football season to prepare for. This kid has to want it first for himself he is an outstanding player but man o man shot twice your asking for it man.

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